Category Archives: humor

A Discussion With 35


ImageI turn 35 this weekend. I’m feeling uncomfortable with that. So I decided to have a sit down with 35 and talk it out. Yes, it’s odd, talking to an age. But, you know, it’s a humor blog, we can do that here.

Excerpts:

Me: So, 35, it’s nice to meet you. Well, sort of.

35: You too, sort of. By the way, interesting move choosing yourself to be the one in BOLD. We can analyze that later.

Looking forward to it. I’m hoping you can give me some insight into why I feel so uncomfortable with you. You’re not that old. Still, I think of myself as being much younger than you. Even though I am at this very moment using a heating pad. What’s up with how awkward I am with you?

You should really consider starting these interviews with something less insulting. But you are way ahead of the curve. Most people don’t freak out until they hit 40.

See, that’s part of the problem. I like to be impressive. 35 is not impressive. No offense. Anything I achieve in my career now won’t come off as “wow, that YOUNG woman did that.” It’s going to be, “yeah that lady over there—hey someone brought in cookies!”

What?

Or if I change careers, I’ll be that brave middle-aged woman who redefined her priorities. Ugh.

Do you have any idea how lame you sound?

Yes.

Besides, you became old at 29, when you had that kid of yours.

I am something of a prudish party pooper. But this year, all of a sudden, systems started failing. I mean, I hurt both my knees when I decided to try pilates. Not DOING pilates, just when I decided to try. What’s that about?

Not so long ago, a person your age would be pretty close to having grandkids. In a more basic human environment you’d probably be fairly near death.

Thank you, that helps a lot. You’re just like everyone else I know. Nobody has any sympathy for me. I’m now technically old enough to be president of the United States — I can’t even get the cats off the kitchen counter! I’m a failure.

Have you considered therapy?

For my failure?

For your INSANITY.

Does that happen when you get old?

Never mind. Are you using wrinkle cream?

Hey, I’m asking questions! I’m in a whole other marketing segment now. No more 25-34. There are people in their 40s in my demographic. What on earth do I have in common with them?

You arrrrrrre married to someone in his 40s.

…True. And 25-year-olds are typically baffling to me. All ramen-eating and bar-hopping.

And weirded out when you call them ‘honey’ and mean it in a maternal way.

Shut up. Maggie Gyllenhaal was born the same year as me. She’s awesome!

So was Brittany Murphy. She’s dead.

You know what, I think I’m just past all this. I’m beyond caring about my birthday.

Really? ‘Cause it seems like you care.

What should one be reading at 35? Because right now I’m reading Jane Eyre for the first time, along with 50 Shades of Grey and a manual about being a trustee for a nonprofit. And I’m preferring Jane and the trustees to Mr. Grey. Is that because of my advancing years?

That doesn’t doesn’t reflect your age. It reflects your general weirdness. At least you’re not reading parenting books anymore. Gave up on that, eh?

What, she’s 5, I got her through the “most important developmental years.” …I’m of “advanced maternal age” now, you know.

[laughs] Were you actually considering getting your insane, droopy self pregnant again?

No! I’m just saying–you know what, you are old and sarcastic and I don’t think I like you.

You’re just tired. Because of your old age.

I’m not old! I think I’m young! 25, to be exact.

Love 25. She’s hot.

I’m not supposed to get old like other people, that’s why this is so frustrating.

Ah, it’s becoming more difficult to feel superior to others. I see.

That is not what I said. … Yes.

You realize everyone who reads this is going to be pissed off, right? You’re younger than most of your mom friends–

–who are all skinnier than me–

–If any of them still read this dusty old page.

You know what, we’re done here, 35. Put in a good word for me with 40.


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For St. Patty’s, Let’s Make the Kindergartners Cry!


I get too involved. It’s a fact. In the midst of everything but the kitchen sink coming at me personally and at work, I decided I should plan Sally’s kindergarten class St. Patrick’s Day activity. This was a busy week for their class, too, so I kept it simple–for them. I, however, spent three hours creating the perfect leprechaun shenanigan!

Which brings us to 1:30 p.m. in a room filled with shorty chairs. First, I very craftily showed the kids my decoy cupcake:

decoy plain cupcake

Don’t those look boring? Exactly! But I played them up: “Oh Thanks GOODNESS, the cupcakes are okay. I was checking on them ALL DAY hoping the leprechauns wouldn’t play any tricks on me. Let’s read a story and then we’ll eat.”

The kids sit in their spots on the rug, and I take the stool in the center, which I highly recommend if you ever need a power trip. Sally, as practiced, tells everyone the title of the book: Clever Tom and the Leprechaun. (It should be pointed out that I paid $23 for a used copy of this out-of-print floppy little book because it’s supposed to be the greatest leprechaun tale of all time or something. It IS cute. It also basically ruined my day.)

My first clue was the child who whimpered, “But I don’t like leper-cons.” I patted his head (Figuratively. I don’t know where those kids have been.) and assured him this story was not at all scary. I read the book, complete with terrible Irish accent that the teacher kindly pretended not to notice. Then it was time for our boring old cupcakes.

But wait! Did anyone see a Leper or a Con come in here while we were reading? Because . . . our cupcakes have turned . . . RAINBOW! I am the BEST MOM EVER! Let the elation commence!

awesome rainbow cupcakesEleven children appear amused if not ecstatic, and begin crafting their leprechaun sneakiness theories.

And two. Two burst into tears. It seems leprechauns are terrifying creatures who might destroy all of humanity with their hanky panky.  So I declare the obvious: “No, no, you don’t need to be worried, it’s FUN! THE LEPRECHAUNS TURNED OUR CUPCAKES RAINBOW FOR PETE’S SAKE!”

The Two set off several more who decide they, too, are scared. But these kids are quick to accept sugary treats that have clearly been tampered with by someone with questionable ethics. They calm down and eat. The Two, however, are still crying. I pat them on the backs (literally this time, risking lice) and reassure them that the cupcakes are harmless. When they cry harder, I give up. Empathy is not my thing. Besides, now I’m worried their parents are going to egg my house for introducing their kids to some heathen character. Maybe I’ve really done something wrong! At our house the leprechauns attack with vengeance every year, turning the milk green, messing stuff up. It never occurred to me this might be scary. Oh wait — because IT’S NOT. What is wrong with these kids?

Deflated, I cleaned up rainbow crumbs and took Sally home. “Hey Mommy, you know B, who was crying? His dad is a minister!”

Awh, crap.

Grocery Shoppers: An Analysis


The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and even if you don’t car a whit because the 49ers aren’t in it (sniff…) everyone should be extra cautious with their decisions about grocery shopping over the next few days. Seriously, if you don’t need deli meats or soda, DON’T go down those aisles. They’ll be filled with people wearing oversized jerseys and ugly slide sandals. But really, if you’re a parent, you always have to strategize about shopping. When you choose to go to the store can mean the difference between zipping through with your smartphone list, or banging your head on a germ-filled cart as you wait in line behind the lady who is sure those Lipton iced teas were a two-for-one.

So that you may shop at the best time for your personality, I give you “Who Goes Shopping When.”

Who Goes Shopping When:

  • Friday morning – Stay-at-home moms; old ladies paying with checks.
  • Friday afternoon – Harried parents who realized there’s nothing in the fridge and whose kids are pissed off to be shopping after a long week at school.
  • Friday night – Teenagers inappropriately dressed for winter; men who might be homeless.
  • Saturday morning – Dads and their kids, ruthlessly kicked out of the house by mom; oenophiles prepping for their dinner party tonight.
  • Saturday afternoon – Leisurely childless couples.
  • Saturday night – Partiers buying liquor; dateless singles buying the single-serving mini bottles of wine and a prepared stuffed chicken breast; defeated men buying tampons.
  • Sunday morning – Extremely efficient moms who follow the exact same path through the store each week; heathens.
  • Sunday midday – The people who were in church this morning, wearing their finery.
  • Sunday afternoon – People with no sense of urgency who park in the middle of the aisle trying to think of what they want; moms who think shopping should be a family experience; couples married more than five years who bicker over pasta brands.

Good luck, and good Super Bowl.

What Not To Do: A back-to-school list


As the first week of kindergarten came to a close, I realized it was not just Sally learning valuable lessons from school. I, too, was being educated–mostly on how to live with a fire-breathing dragon. To help other parents who may be facing the overtired, extra-exhausted, ‘I’m adjusting to a whole new school year and cannot deal with anything else in this god-forsaken world’ child, I am providing a list of things to avoid during your sponge-brained angel’s first weeks of school:

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES:
*Ask what she did at school today.
If you do… sobbing, claiming to not remember, declaring you must not love her anymore. Oh, also, they did circle time.

*Feed her anything but mac and cheese.
If you do… sobbing, declaring you do not love her and that she will never eat anything again, and she’ll move out and get her own apartment and eat mac and cheese every day. Oh you’re making tacos? Okay.

*Explain, define, or suggest anything, even if she asks.
If you do… You will be wrong.

*Wake her up. This often happens in the morning hours because she must return to school.
If you do… Sobbing, claiming school is an awful hell hole that is only slightly better than San Quentin Prison and why can’t you quit your job and stay home with her, don’t you LOVE her?! [Note: Later today you will go to school and find her skipping rope with her new friend and she’ll tell you they made play-doh with sparkles in it! Totally like prison.]

*Suggest she sleep. You know, because all the sobbing just maybe indicates she’s tired.
If you do… sobbing, declaring she’s not tired and maybe she could sleep if you’d fed her mac and cheese but HOW can she sleep at a time like this. Just read a fourth book tonight and then maybe she’ll be able to sleep. Now you’ve upset her so you’ll need to sleep with her, because that’s super comfortable, and it would be best if she could wrap her arms around your neck so that you can only breath at about half your lung capacity.

*Stop pushing her on the swing. Even though she can swing herself.
If you do… Sobbing, loudly whining that she can’t do it, it’s impossible, just push her higher. HIGHER. HIGHER!!!!

*Say that we need to leave the park because her behavior is ridiculous.
If you do… Actually I have no idea what happens, I was too afraid to find out.

Not Now Honey, Barbie Needs Her Margarita


I wanted to do a post about Barbie, because at Christmas Sally got her first set of double-Ds, and I felt weird about it and wanted to talk it through. So I thought, and thought, and the more I thought, the more confused I got about the whole thing. Is she good or evil? Is she teaching my kid to want a hot bod? (Sally WAS very excited that Barbie had “all the parts.”) And if so, is that all bad? I mean, I want a hot bod! Maybe Sally will be motivated to get a hot bod when she’s 33 instead of just talk about them.

And for goodness sake, we own astronaut Barbie. She’s a highly educated and professional woman. Who wears heels in space, but that’s her prerogative. Anyway, I’ve decided Barbie is okay. At her core, she’s got a pencil-sized waist a toy that doesn’t beep, sing the ABCs or scream “LET’S PLAY A GAME!” after you leave her alone for 30 seconds. She’s a simple doll. Sally has to use her imagination to come up with scenarios for her. And Sally’s scenarios are pretty awesome.

The real problem with Barbie . . . is the margaritas.

Our Barbie and Ken live in a Mattel beach vacation house. This house is puh-ritty cool. There’s a chandelier. There’s a big screen TV. There’s an adorable pink and purple kitchen where Ken makes pancakes every morning, and a shower he can barely squeeze his impossibly hard body into. Delicious. …The pancakes! Stop it. (wink)

But when Barbie gets thirsty, what has Mattel given her? A blender and two margarita glasses. WHAT?! So, okay, first of all, SO wrong. My 4-year-old is playing house and we’re gonna get everyone liquored up? After I’ve spent time hunting down wholesome handmade Barbie outfits so that she doesn’t look like a cheaper version of a Jersey Shore girl?

Ah, the pre-baby days.

Second, the margaritas (don’t worry, I told Sally they were smoothies) really, really mess up Barbie’s judgement. She met Ken randomly one night and just because the guy was in a tux, she was all leaning into him and blurting out “Lez get married and have babies!”

Ken’s nothing if not smooth, so he was like “Sure sweet thang, whatever you want.” Little did he know Sally had the authority to marry them ON THE SPOT. Short ceremony, too, consisting of: “You may kiss the bride!” [kiss] “Oh no, my baby is coming out!”

You tell me with a straight face that KEN is the dad.

And then Barbie immediately gave birth to Strawberry Shortcake. Who, A) should have those cankles looked at, and B) has red hair and doesn’t look a thing like Ken. I don’t want to break up a home or anything, but I’m just saying, Ken’s best friend is a redhead, and with all the tequila banana smoothie flowing in that house, I’m suspicious.

Then it’s time for Ken to go to work and Strawberry to go to school because Barbie can’t deal. Ken asks if SHE is going to work, too, and she always says, “No, I’m just going to stay home.” And eat the bowl of Doritos provided by Mattel. AND DRINK SMOOTHIES. Ken has to do drop-off and pick-up for a kid who’s probably not even his; go to work; replace light bulbs; and fix the stairs in a beach house they totally cannot afford on one salary–and the man still makes pancakes every morning. I’m not going to get into what all this will eventually do to Barbie’s slowing mommy metabolism. Anyhow, Barbie is content to dry her hair; go potty; move the furniture around; and make sure Ken is staying in his own bed at night.

And drink smoothies.

Is Barbie twisting my child’s brain? I think she was just born that way. Is she ruining Sally’s life? I don’t know, Sally seems to have figured out how to get a man to do everything so she can kick back, which is more than most of us ever accomplish. Plus, I’m pretty sure this blog will ruin her life way before Barbie’s size zero body does.

The Suspicious Disappearance of Raspberry Torte


RIP, Raspberry. We'll miss your fuschia hair and your cankles.

If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have told you 4 year olds drag around baby dolls and cook play food. They do . . . but there’s also an awful lot of murder mystery going on. . . .

As I folded towels while Sally was in the bath, I learned that Raspberry Torte (of the Strawberry Shortcake gang) was missing. She disappeared while her friends Orange Blossom and Strawberry Shortcake briefly left the house to buy party supplies. Neither Miss Blossom nor Miss Shortcake called the police, which should automatically make them suspects (Yeah watch out, I sometimes watch Law and Order reruns). In fact, nothing came to the attention of the authorities until Lemon Meringue nearly drowned in the bathtub.

“Help, help!” I hear her shriek. “MOMMY! Do Strawberry’s voice.”

“oh-no-what-has-happened-do-not-drown-you-are-so-young.”

“Not like that, do it REAL.” (That’s preschool direction for ‘from the top, with feeling!’)

So, with charisma, I play along and eventually Lemon confesses she recently escaped from a shark’s stomach. But–insert ominous music–Raspberry was there, too. She and Lemon argued over which, er, “direction” to exit the animal. I didn’t ask for details, but suffice it to say they took separate paths and only Lemon emerged. Sally, wide-eyed: “Raspberry is STILL. IN. THE. SHARK. …Probably. Lemon just swam away so she doesn’t know for sure.”

Lemon’s kind of a jerk.

We try desperately to think of a way to rescue our pink-haired friend. All of my plans are useless, natch. Sally’s plans–which typically include Lemon Meringue gliding across the water on a bar of soap like it’s a chariot (MY plans are dumb?!)–are well crafted, but ultimately fruitless. Sally announces that we must give up the search.

WHAT?! I think of the Chilean miners, and the fact that we live in an earthquake “black zone” and my kid will probably try to dig me out of the rubble that once was our house for, oh about seven minutes, and then give me up for dead. So I stress that surely we can find some way to rescue Raspberry.

No. We cannot. Even though this clearly makes it look like the berry gang set the whole thing up and the congressman is in on it, I have no ground to stand on. The bathtub is Sally’s jurisdiction, I’m like the city police up against the FBI (I’m telling you, Law and Order). She begins to climb out of the bath and says, with the chilling steadiness of an officer who has seen this sad outcome all too often: “But it’s okay. In every home and in every café, they will hang a picture of Raspberry Torte.”

Um, okay, I need to check my Tivo because I’m starting to think Sally has been watching Law and Order.

**** This is my 100th post! Who’d have thought I’d be so annoyingly persistent? To help me celebrate, write a comment telling me which post is your favorite. (You don’t have to know the title, just tell me “the one where…”) This will help me learn what readers like the best, AND I’ll put all the commenter names into a hat and draw one to win a prize. Oooh, exciting! [Drawing will happen on December 15. Comments must be submitted before the 15th.]****

If You Say I’m Not Thankful, I’ll Eat You Alive


I’m thankful that my child loves me so much that she feels a physical need for me when she is under the weather. I truly love [really, not even being sarcastic] holding her in her bed while she tries to fall asleep. I do. Even if she did, mere hours before, show me this picture–made at school in full view of teachers and maybe other parents–titled: Mommy When She is Angry.

I’m thankful that my child has the dexterity to make my angry mouth look like a hairy, smelly, evil death trap. And I’m thankful that even though I unfortunately have a penchant for biting the heads off newborn puppies, I also obviously have fantastic hair.